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German censors dislike Call of Duty: Black Ops and the Rolling Stones

Upcoming shooter Call of Duty: Black Ops is going to have to make some big content changes to get into the German market. This fact will not surprise anyone who has followed the gaming industry in Europe. But the exact nature of the censorship strikes us as a little odd.

The following changes have been implemented for the upcoming game (from Game Politics via CODFeed):

• A scene where an enemy is shot in slow motion with copious amounts of gore has been toned down for the German release.
• A torture scene involving a prisoner has been completely eliminated from the German version.
The song “Sympathy for the Devil”, made famous by the Rolling Stones, has been removed. (Emphasis ours)
• No explosions that lead to limb loss.
• Removal of what Germany deems ‘anti-constitutional symbols’.

The toning down of gore and removal of dismemberment is no surprise, and similar changes will most likely find their way into other markets like Japan, where dismemberment is strictly forbidden by the country’s rating system. However, the removal of a Rolling Stones song seems, at least at first glance to be almost non-sensical.

That is until you look at the song’s lyrics in which Jagger, playing the part of the devil, discusses his various roles in tragedies throughout human history including the crucifixion of Jesus Christ, Russia’s 1917 Communist Revolution and … wait for it … World War II. Given Germany’s strict policies on imagery from the Third Reich and the Holocaust it’s likely that the verse in which Jagger sings, “I rode a tank, held a general’s rank when the blitzkrieg raged and the bodies stank,” is the reason for the song’s removal. Just our hunch, mind you.

It’s worth noting that the song Sympathy for the Devil isn’t banned in the country and far more direct World War II references appear in other games (Black Ops, you’ll recall, is set during the Vietnam War). Go figure.

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29 comments

  • Justheretowinshit - October 9, 2010 1:54 a.m.

    Did you know that the US rounded up all the Asians(not just Japanese) in the country and shipped them off to concentration camps after Pearl Harbor? No? Oh, then I guess America is a lot better at censorship than the Germans ever were.
  • SAUGAPRIME - October 7, 2010 8:12 p.m.

    I'm surprise Peta didn't put there nose into Black-ops for killing innocent monkeys.
  • PipBowl420 - October 7, 2010 7:51 p.m.

    the german peoples government is very strict in what it allows into the country, and I too think that lots of it has to do with the change from Nazi gov. to the new gov, to the gov. that it is now.. in a way, trying to show how the country is no longer hostile, as it was back in WWII, (what Germany is best known for, WWII, and beer lol) I personally know Germany as great foods, very nice people, and an extremely rich history.
  • NeelEvil - October 7, 2010 4:19 p.m.

    @Bonesqaw I seem to recall Perfect Dark having the ability to upload photos from the Gameboy Camera to multiplayer skins removed because the American press freaked out about kids being able to gun down their friends/parents/teachers.
  • EdDeRs1 - October 7, 2010 3:36 p.m.

    @Bonesqaw, when has the UK had content taken out? all we get are less extras than u americans cos we r less likely to waste money on pointless extras
  • Wolverine08 - October 7, 2010 3:35 p.m.

    Oh come on Germany, censoring a song about WW2 isn't gonna make us forget what happened, in fact to me it's removal only highlights it even more, if they'd just left it in there I highly doubt ANYONE would've noticed the lyrics.
  • Robx - October 7, 2010 2:55 p.m.

    They need to chillax.
  • Bonesqaw - October 7, 2010 1:57 p.m.

    @AlpineGuy I though they were worse in Austrailia. Anyway, this only proves that the US is fantastic, since we never are forced to take content out, unlike UK, Europe, Japan, and Austrailia.
  • EdDeRs1 - October 7, 2010 11:08 a.m.

    bloody hell, im British and we have a slight problem of going on about the war to Germans (there was even an entier faulty towers episode based around that) and we know they can be a bit touchy about it and its understandable (after all, we wont let them forget it) but at least we dont go as far as bringing up the Holocaust, but World at War was allowed there wasnt it? and that portrayed the war from the Russian point of view, aka the Germans are murderous bastards who need to be destroyed, and that wasnt banned. oh and tiben36, the rolls royce is british but (like the mini) the germans who had a stronger ecomony after the war (US rebuilt it) than us bought up the companys that made them.
  • Clovin64 - October 7, 2010 10:38 a.m.

    First Medal of Honor gets censored, and now this? If Okamiden gets censored for any stupid reason (for promoting violence against sacred mythological Japanese demons?), I will be a very unhappy gamer.
  • oryandymackie - October 7, 2010 10:21 a.m.

    Holocaust denial is illegal in Germany. War denial apparently isn't.
  • MCN2010 - October 7, 2010 10:20 a.m.

    I guess what's puzzing them, is the nature of this game.
  • Charlie_Fubar - October 7, 2010 10 a.m.

    Please allow me to introduce myself... or not. (can we get rid of the fagcrap recapta? its kinda obnoxious, really)
  • RabidCabbage - October 7, 2010 9:38 a.m.

    @ElAmmoBandito, no, it is no longer 1940 in Germany. Nor do they like torture. Must be a pain being a gamer in Germany.
  • KidKatana - October 7, 2010 9:16 a.m.

    Well, you can't always get what you want.
  • pantzman - October 7, 2010 9:06 a.m.

    I wish the developers / publishers could afford to say " Well screw you then - We ain't changing it so you ain't getting it"
  • Zeb364 - October 7, 2010 8:27 a.m.

    That's...odd... Apparently mass genocide is ok but a lyric is off limits (one without a single curse word mind you). Also, what are ‘anti-constitutional symbols’ I wonder?
  • jonarooni - October 7, 2010 6:24 a.m.

    But... Rolling stones are amazing why would you remove a song!?
  • Cwf2008 - October 7, 2010 4:21 a.m.

    "Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it"...that mean anything to you Germany?
  • bugcatcherjason - October 7, 2010 4:12 a.m.

    *In a sing-song* I guess they are... THE BEAST OF BURDEN!!

Showing 1-20 of 29 comments

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